17 June 2010

Blog and twit and politics


Making the sound byte hearable.

Everyone knows that politics is about getting things done and making sure others know you are getting things done. It's about marketing and sales. It's about communications. And control.

So this week there is quite a discussion about the use of twitter and blogger spaces to communicate. After all, can a politico ever get his voice heard above the din of all the other noises out there?

Consider the Dutch brewery. How do they get 'heard?' Two Dutch women appeared in a South African court for a publicity stunt that sent 36 women in orange dresses to a World Cup game, sparking protests by the Netherlands against the charges.

Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen condemned FIFA's handling of the incident, saying it was "absurd" that the pair had been arrested and charged with organising the so-called "ambush marketing" campaign.

The row began when a group of three dozen women turned up at Monday's Netherlands v Denmark match in Johannesburg wearing identical orange mini-dresses that were sold with packs of Bavaria beer in the Netherlands.

I thought that was pretty clever. And it's not illegal, is it?

But what about our politicians in New South Wales? The ABC reported yesterday about an experimental debate using the social media site Twitter. The debate took place ahead of a highly-anticipated by-election in the western Sydney seat of Penrith this Saturday.

The discussion, which called for contributions from the public, ran for over half an hour and was moderated by Channel Nine's Kevin Wilde. Most said, the debate was hard to follow with many questions asked by users left unanswered.


Followers also had to endure the occasional interruption by the Twitter fail whale - the cartoon character that tells you when the site is over-subscribed.

The Daily Telegraph's Joe Hildebrand was one of many tweeters expressing frustration.

"Exclusive: twitter debate confused, nonsensical and unproductive; perfect representation of NSW politics," he wrote.

Lee Rhiannon says while the debate was chaotic, it is a good way to engage lots of people. "Kristina Keneally overdid it I think in terms of just running out policy lines," she said.

"But there still was engagement from the three of us with a number of people that were putting questions to us."I acknowledge that it was limited, it was far from perfect, but it was a start." Moderator Kevin Wilde admitted there were teething problems but said the first Twitter debate would not be the last.

"Training wheels on for everyone on this. It will be better during the NSW debate that is locked in for March 2011," he wrote.

Let's see, unanswered questions. Could that be a political debate? Of course! Unproductive and confused. Yup.

I couldn't get on, as twitter was oversubscribed. I couldn't even go to my own twitter site and update what I was thinking or doing, as if I were doing anything of significance compared to such lofty things as debates and World Cup matches and State of Origin rugby contests.

http://twitter.com/JFJAustralAsia

I invite you to the twitter site, to follow us.
I invite you to this Blog, to follow us.
And to participate in conversation, however that works.

I invite you to our website, and our podcasts.

And I invite you to comment. It's only fair.

Getting someone's attention. Good work.
Keeping someone's interest. Never easy.
Being worthy of anyone even noticing you...very hard. But if you are a believer, and have something about God, and how he has worked in your life, or what he is up to on the earth, then I'm all ears.